I have never worked a commission based job before. Every job I have ever had was based upon me trading my time for money. Now, I need to generate some sales and service to make an income. The time that I spend on that is actually irrelevant. It is possible to spend hours and hours during a week and not generate any potential income, or if I am lucky, I could generate a month’s worth of income in one or two meetings. That’s just kind of the nature of the beast.
Ultimately, like anyone running a business, it is up to me to generate a clientele. Because I don’t have the capital set aside to open my own office, nor the time to slowly let potential clients trickle in, I have to talk to my natural market. A natural market essentially is just going through a list of people I know. Since I a living in an area where I didn’t grow up, lack family, spent time in an all consuming job, I have a very limited natural market. Not only is my natural market numerically limited, many are not at a place in their lives to really focus on financial matters.
The other problem I have is that I am new to this profession. Sure I have been interested in finances for several years now, and have taken control of my own retirement and insurance needs, but that doesn’t mean someone else is going to necessarily trust me with their financial information. Money issues just isn’t something most people want to talk about. Then someone new asking to talk about it just makes it worse. So I am relying almost exclusively on the trust I have built up from previous relationships. For the most part that means I am asking former students, who knew me as a math teacher, to trust me when it comes to financial protection and investments.
I feel kind of awkward contacting people I have been out of touch with for at least a year or more to meet with me to just chat, but I know it is a habit I have to get used to. Last week I was able to meet with four people, and I was filled with anxiety going into these meetings. I am basically asking to meet with people who got to know me as teenagers, in a teacher-student relationship, to know come and view me as more of a peer. I was worried that these would be extremely awkward.
Awkwardness wasn’t the case though. I was surprised at how comfortable it was, and how much I appreciated meeting former students to find out what is going on in their lives. One thing I was warned about at training, make sure coffee chats are productive, that they aren’t dead ends. Well, two of my four meetings were business dead ends, but personally they were not. I hope I don’t lose sight of that moving forward, that there is value to a simple human relationship, even if there is no potential for money to be involved.
I went kind of slow the first week, but now I need to step up my pace and meet with some people. I will be sending out a bunch of messages out tomorrow, to just find out if people are willing to visit with me.
However, if you happen to read this, and are in the Tiffin area, and would like to meet, please fill out the contact form. I could use all the help I can get.